Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy

Environmental Politics and Deliberative Democracy

Examining the Promise of New Modes of Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand, Jamil Kahn, Annica Kronsell and Eva Lövbrand

Can new modes of governance, such as public–private partnerships, stakeholder consultations and networks, promote effective environmental policy performance as well as increased deliberative and participatory quality? This book argues that in academic inquiry and policy practice there has been a deliberative turn, manifested in a revitalized interest in deliberative democracy coupled with calls for novel forms of public–private governance. By linking theory and practice, the contributors critically examine the legitimacy and effectiveness of new modes of governance, using a range of case studies on climate, forestry, water and food safety policies from local to global levels.

Chapter 2: Rationalities and Forms of Governance: A Framework for Analysing the Legitimacy of New Modes of Governance

Annica Kronsell and Karin Bäckstrand

Subjects: environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


Annica Kronsell and Karin Bäckstrand INTRODUCTION The overarching aim of this chapter is to bring conceptual clarity in the terminology related to new modes of governance in the context of the deliberative turn. As argued previously, environmental governance has been influenced by ideals of deliberative democracy. This has led to an increased use of deliberative rationality in governance processes and in the choice of modes of governance. The extent to which ideas of democracy and deliberative rationality have turned into governance practice varies between different contexts, states and international organizations. This chapter provides a framework for analysing the promise of new modes of environmental governance in terms of legitimacy and effectiveness that will be employed in the chapters to follow. Two questions are addressed: how is the deliberative turn in environmental governance reflected in the forms and rationalities of environmental governance? How can the legitimacy and effectiveness of various modes of governance be conceptualized? First, the chapter develops a theoretical framework that explores the emergence of new modes of governance according to two dimensions: organizational forms and rationalities. The governance forms of hierarchy, markets and networks are analysed as well as the rationality, or logic, underpinning governance modes (administrative, economic and deliberative rationality). The rationality of governance revolves around how the behaviour and way of thinking of different actors can change, what the optimal forms of steering (governance) are, and what type of steering is most appropriate to induce change. We categorize governance modes explored in the empirical chapters,...

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